Printing from Linux

Started Jun 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
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TomHJ
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Printing from Linux
Jun 11, 2013

[I originally posted this in the "Printers and Printing" forum, but got a suggestion that I might get more input from Linux users here (even though it is the "PC Talk" forum)....]

I’ve been trying to set up a Linux-based alternative for Windows. Photo editing and printing has been a challenge. And on the editing side (I tend to use Lightroom or DxO Optics Pro in Windows—and before that, Picture Windows Pro—not Photoshop), I’m mostly comfortable with Linux alternatives, particularly Raw Therapee (in part because I shoot RAW and really like the ability to use Adobe’s lens correction profiles), but both Photivo and Darktable can do most of what I need); all have steep learning curves, and none have Lightroom’s photo management flow, but they basically do the job. [I've tried After Shot Pro, but in addition to few relevant lens correction profiles (for a Sony alpha user), it potentially have a limited future, given its lack of updates.]  And with Neat Image (my go-to noise reduction in Windows, although I don’t “go to” it very often, given how good the RAW converters have gotten), and Luminance HDR, both available in Linux, my basic “extras” are covered as well. And, despite the complexities, I’m pretty happy with how I managed to calibrate my IPS monitor (through, in substantial part, www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/), even though my X-rite device doesn’t work in Linux.

Printing, however, still is a bit of a difficulty/mystery. Unfortunately, none of the RAW editors listed above for Linux have print modules (like Lightroom and, recently, DxO Optics Pro, for Windows). My current printer is a Canon Pixma Pro-100. TurboPrint has it covered as of a recent update, and I’ve imported relevant paper .icc profiles (a bit cumbersome, but it has been done). But the difficulty remains in figuring out how to get a picture to TurboPrint. I had hoped to use PhotoPrint, but because—it seems—it is based on Gutenprint, it doesn’t have a listing for my Pro-100 printer (as Gutenprint hasn’t been updated in almost a year). So, my default for now is to save an 8-bit TIFF file and open it in GIMP (which doesn’t accept 16-bit TIFF files), use a January 2011 TurboPrint plug in for GIMP to send the print to TurboPrint (2013 update), and go from there. Color-wise (with the selection of the right paper for which I have an .icc profile) it works—although occasionally it prints about 3% of the picture and then ejects the sheet and prints the rest on the next sheet (another thing I haven’t figured out and need to work on….).

Beyond this being a bit complex, it doesn’t allow me to use some of the wonderful lay-out features of PhotoPrint. I was hoping someone else who uses Linux would have some work-flow suggestions for printing that are better than this.

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